Bits: new BA ‘50% buy Avios’ bonus, My Lounge opens at Gatwick South, Shangri-La’s new Blacklane partnership

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News in brief:

50% bonus when you buy Avios

British Airways is launching another ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion today.

Until 16th December you will receive 50% bonus Avios when you buy or gift points.

As well as being the highest bonus we have seen for quite a while – although no different to the Iberia Plus offer which launched last week – there is also no minimum purchase.  The bonus kicks in with the smallest 1,000 Avios transaction.  You need to visit via this page in order to buy.

British Airways has increased the number of Avios you can buy under this deal – the cap is now 200,000 points per year!  This means that, with the bonus, you will receive 300,000 Avios for a whopping £3,215.

This is not necessarily a great idea as the best value is generally obtained by buying a small number of Avios to top off your account.  If you saw me on BBC1’s Rip Off Britain earlier this year (you can watch the segment here, it is only 3 minutes long) you will know that one of the members of the public I tried to help had bought 100,000 Avios for £1,600 without fully understand the restrictions behind them.

What does it cost?

In general, you will pay around 1.1p per Avios under this offer.  Based on my spreadsheet of the last 6.8 million Avios I redeemed, I got 1.16p of value.  This is using very conservative valuations for the flights booked, eg I value a Business Class flight to Dubai at £1,500 because even if BA isn’t charging that there is usually a deal with a secondary airline.

I am clearly not a buyer at 1.16p.  However, as my core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 1.16p.  My valuation is low because I do a lot of Gold Priority Rewards (using double Avios to force open a seat) and don’t always have a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to use.  I also tend to use Avios irrespective of the value, because I am sitting on so many.  If you are strategic you should do better than me.

The link to buy is here.  If it isn’t live when you click through, take a look later in the day.

Is it worth buying Avios

My Lounge now open in Gatwick South as an alternative to No 1 Lounge

The brand new ‘My Lounge’ is now open in London Gatwick’s South Terminal, which is the one used by British Airways.

Based on the one in Gatwick North, you should expect ‘urban chic’ bordering on ‘hipster’, if ‘hipster’ is still a ‘thing’.

Annoyingly, I have no idea where ‘My Lounge’ is, except that it is located on the upper level along with all of the other lounges.  Apparently it has the only outside terrace at the airport.

Given that the ‘My Lounge’ in Gatwick North is cheap – I have seen it offered for as little as £12 via promos – I was surprised to see that Gatwick South will cost £30 on the door or £24 booked in advance.  Children are allowed at half price.

This is our review of My Lounge in Gatwick North to get you in the mood.  It is available via Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum or buy one here) and Lounge Club (two free visits with the free Amex Gold) which should reduce the pressure on the main No 1 Lounge.

You can find out more about My Lounge Gatwick South on their website here.  I will be Gatwick South in January and hope to take a look then, assuming there is no official media event.

Blacklane Miles and More bonus

Earn Shangri-La Golden Circle points with Blacklane

Chauffeur group Blacklane has added Shangri-La Golden Circle as its first hotel earning partner.

You will earn one Shangri-La Golden Circle point for every two £, $ or € spent with Blacklane.  As a special introductory offer, you can earn double points for all rides taken before 28th February 2019.

The company now operates in 300 cities in 60 countries and is particularly useful for airport rides.  We used them in Milan Linate last year when I was with the family and wanted someone waiting at the gate with a car I knew would be big enough.

If you would prefer to earn airline miles, Blacklane also lets you earn with:

  • Asia Miles (6 per £/$/€ spent with their current promo)
  • Enrich (Malaysia Airlines) (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Finnair Plus (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Qatar Privilege Club (1 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Miles & More (Lufthansa etc) (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (2 per £/$/€ spent)

You can also save 10% on your first Blacklane ride with code SAVE10%.

Blacklane has a slightly odd way of entering promotional codes.  You will be presented with a page asking for your credit card details.  After you type them in, there is an additional screen which asks if you have a voucher code.  Add SAVE10% on that page and 10% is deducted from your quote.  Your card is not charged until after the ride and you can cancel until 1 hour before pick-up.

You can sign-up for a Blacklane account here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Would love people’s opinions. Am I being stupid? If I buy c.200,000 points for around £2500 all in, I can fly LHR to HND in First! That seems ridiculous VFM.


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